New CJ urged to prosecute culprits in decades-old Goldenberg case

Kenya's newly sworn-in Chief Justice Martha Koome

By The Weekly Vision Team

Kenya’s newly sworn-in Chief Justice Martha Koome may have celebrated her elevation to the country’s apex of judicial authority, but she appears to have walked into the eye of a storm over old unresolved mega graft cases that are of great public interest.

Koome replaced chief justice David Maraga who retired in January 2021 without resolving the multi-billion shilling Moi era Goldenberg and Kibaki era Anglo Leasing which are both squarely in the in-tray of the new CJ. It was then Ethics and Anti-corruption boss John Githongo who blew the whistle on Anglo Leasing implicating then finance ministers David Mwiraria, Interior minister John Murungaru, and Kiraitu Murungi. Githongo who fled the country to Britain for fear of his life replayed a phone conversation he had with Kiraitu and Mwairaria who were urging him to go easy on Anglo Leasing! In the conversation, Kiraitu is heard telling Githongo that if he agrees “to play ball” then the “small matter of his father’s bank loan would be made to go away”

The new CJ must take advantage of the new judges appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to expeditiously dispense with most graft cases that are of major public interest

Githongo a fierce state critic then is today running a civil society campaign against graft. At the heart of the mega scams that rocked Kenya include the infamous Goldenberg scam in which the country lost billions to shady firms as export compensation for “fictitious” gold exports. The decade’s the old scandal was the worst ever happening in the early 1990s and is partly blamed for the collapse of the Kenyan shilling against hard currencies.

As the scandal raged, Koome was active in civil society. She was head of FIDA then and would find herself on the wrong side of the law often taking the then government of President Daniel Moi heads on. The new CJ has her work cut out for her and must resolve cases like “Goldenberg” expeditiously to restore public confidence in the courts. The case has taken up to 3 decades in an on and off manner had seriously ” eroded public confidence” in rule of law as billions of taxpayers’ money was lost to state bureaucrats who walk scot-free.

Kamlesh Patni was the engine behind the scum

This he said has created the unfortunate perception that “big thieves” involved in a white-collar crime can never see the bars of jail! The new CJ must take advantage of the new judges appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to expeditiously dispense with most graft cases that are of major public interest. The Goldenberg whistleblower, the man who brought the matter into the public limelight suffered rejection and lived in poverty after being sacked by the central bank of Kenya (CBK) in April 1992.
David Sadera Munyakei, was then a newly employed clerk at the Central Bank of Kenya when he started noticing irregularities in the export compensation claims he was processing. On July 31st 2006, Kenya’s biggest whistleblower passed away in rural obscurity, 14 years after exposing the Goldenberg scandal, Kenya’s biggest economic scandal to date, estimated at over USD 1 billion.

The Goldenberg scandal had dragged in courts for decades without any resolution and appear to have “quietly died a natural death” despite the huge loss to the country now borrowing heavily to run the Nairobi regime.

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